Microsoft predicts new competition in cloud era


TAIPEI — A new round of competition between different platforms is expected to take place soon as the PC industry moves toward the cloud era, a senior executive of Microsoft Corp. said yesterday. In the past decade, there has been an emergence of personal computers, Internet of Things (IOT) and wireless communication, which has formed the basis of a bigger mobile communication industry, said Microsoft Corporate Vice President Ya-Qin Zhang.

Mobile operating systems, including Apple Inc.’s iOS, Google Inc.’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows, are also moving fast as cloud computing is playing a more critical role in the significant change, Zhang said.

“It’s hard to work in the IT industry, which requires constant innovation and breakthroughs. But it also has many surprises,” Zhang said at the Global Views Business Forum in Taipei.

“For the next five to 10 years, there will be a new round of battles between different platforms, including cloud computing, terminal devices and applications across cloud and terminal devices,” he predicted.

According to a recent report by tech research firm Gartner Inc., tablet computers, cloud computing, mobile-centric applications and IOT are among the top 10 technologies that will be strategic for most organizations in 2012.

These technologies may offer an opportunity for strategic business advantages for early adopters or potential for significant market disruption in the next five years, Gartner said.

“Cloud is a disruptive force and has the potential for broad long-term impact in most industries,” said the research firm.

While the cloud market remained in its early stages in 2011, a situation that is expected to remain into 2012, it will see a large number of enterprise providers fully engaged in offerings to build cloud environments and deliver cloud services, heating up competition at the enterprise level, Gartner said.